In this section, you will find strategies that promote the integrated partnership political agenda, a comparison of the domination and partnership agendas, and suggestions for reclaiming emotionally charged words such as family, values, and tradition.

The Four Cornerstones of the Partnership Political Agenda

One: Childhood Relations

  • To build a partnership future the people who populate that future – today’s and tomorrow’s children – must understand, experience, and value partnership.
  • Stop violence against children so they don’t learn that it’s right to impose one’s will through violence. Unite behind local, national, and international campaigns to stop violence against children, and promote partnership parenting.
  • Work to end child poverty and to provide good nutrition and healthcare for all children, regardless of race, creed, or ethnic origin. Unite behind educational campaigns showing the personal, economic, social, and environmental benefits this will bring.
  • Bring partnership education (*please link to Partnership Education section of website) into schools. Unite to promote child-centered, multicultural, environmentally conscious, and gender-balanced curricula that help young people learn to respect themselves, others, and our natural environment.
  • Work for high quality childcare, and for training, status, and good economic rewards for this essential caregiving work, whether done by women or men.

Two: Gender Relations

  • An equitable and peaceful future requires family, social, economic, and political institutions based on partnership between the male and female halves of humanity.
  • Change cultural beliefs that the male half of humanity is entitled to control the female half in families and societies. Help change mental maps of domination as normal by unlinking masculinity from domination and violence, and femininity from subordination and obedience. Unite to stop violence against girls and women through local, national, and international campaigns.
  • Bring gender-balanced education into schools to change mindsets that value one kind of person over another. Unite to support partnership education as foundational to ending sexism, racism, and other dominator-isms.
  • Bring partnership-oriented women and men from diverse racial and ethnic groups into policy-making positions to support more caring and empathic policies, including family planning and reproductive choice.
  • Change social priorities so activities stereotypically associated with women are valued as highly as those associated with men. Teach that caring and nonviolence are essential in men, women, and social policy for a more peaceful, just, and caring world.

Three: Economic Relations

  • For a good quality of life , we need economic measures and systems of reward that encourage empathy and creativity and give real value to caring for self, others, and nature.
  • Promote public campaign financing and other means of ending economic control of politics to free policymakers to work for an equitable, environmentally sustainable, and caring economic system.
  • Promote socially and environmentally responsible business standards and rules. Work for partnership charters for domestic and international corporations, and for partnership standards in economic and environmental treaties.
  • Work for new measures of economic productivity that focus on quality-of-life indicators – indicators that accurately report the needs and problems of the poor, that include the work of caregiving as productive work, and that include environmental impacts in cost-benefit analyses.
  • Form coalitions to support an economic system that promotes empathy and creativity. Highlight the economic effectiveness of the partnership model. Give real value to the socially essential work of caring and caregiving – for self, others, and nature – whether in the workplace or at home.

Four: Beliefs, Myths, and Stories

  • To build a partnership culture we need to reexamine beliefs, myths, and stories – strengthening those that promote partnership and discarding those that do not.
  • Support cultural traditions that promote partnership, and work to discard those that promote domination. Strengthen the understanding that human nature is flexible and includes a powerful capacity for creativity and caring.
  • Unite to break up media monopolies and change media policies and management so that the voice of partnership and diversity is heard in the media.
  • Bring partnership education [*please link to Partnership Education section] into schools and universities. Offer young people tools to recognize beliefs, myths, and stories that promote domination or partnership. Help them see the consequences of domination and the benefits of partnership.
  • Work to bring partnership into religious organizations to promote partnership moral sensitivity and help them discard dominator “morality.” Nurture the spiritual courage that will sustain us on the journey to make partnership a reality for our children and generations to come.
From Riane Eisler’s The Power of Partnership (New World Library, 2002)

Exposing the Domination Political Agenda

We can expose the domination political agenda for what it is underneath appealing catchwords such as “family values” and “free market.” A good way to do this is to contrast the domination and partnership political agendas point by point.

AgendaDomination Agenda Partnership Agenda
ChildrenGo back to “spare the rod and spoil the child” as necessary and moral.

Reinstate punitive, fear-based parenting to teach unquestioning obedience to authority.

Oppose funding for universal health care, good nutrition, and other measures that protect children.

Reimpose rote teaching-to-the-test to rank and humiliate children, teachers, and schools, and squeeze out education that teaches gender-balance, multiculturalism, peace, and environmental sensitivity.

Oppose support for childcare. Give little or no economic value to the “women’s work” of caregiving.
De-legitimize violence against children as immoral and dysfunctional. Unite behind campaigns to end violence against children, and promote authoritative rather than authoritarian partnership parenting that models mutual respect and caring.

Provide health care and good nutrition for all children regardless of race, creed, or ethnic origin. Unite behind educational campaigns that show the personal, economic, social, and environmental benefits this will bring.

Support child-centered, gender-balanced, multicultural, environmentally conscious education to help young people learn to respect themselves, others, and our natural environment.

Work for high quality childcare and for training, high status, and good economic rewards for the essential work of caregiving, whether done by women or men.
GenderStrengthen cultural beliefs that women must be controlled by men as heads of families and policy makers. Relink masculinity with domination and femininity with subservience. Oppose funding for programs that offer real protection from violence to girls and women.

Reinstate traditional curricula that focus on the male half of humanity, reinforcing mindsets that one kind of person is more valuable than another.

Fill policy-making positions with men (and token women) who support those who have economic control and want to take away rights to family planning and reproductive choice.

Reinforce social priorities that value activities stereotypically associated with men over those associated with women. Denigrate men who are nonviolent and caring as “sissies” or “wimps.”
Change cultural beliefs that the male half of humanity is entitled to control the female half in families and societies. Unlink masculinity from domination and violence, and femininity from subordination and obedience. Unite to stop violence against girls and women.

Bring gender-balanced education into schools to change mindsets that value one kind of person more than another. Unite to support partnership education as foundational to ending sexism, racism, and other domination “-isms.”

Unite to bring partnership-oriented women and men from diverse racial and ethnic groups into policy-making positions to support more caring and empathic policies, including family planning and reproductive choice.

Change social priorities so that activities stereotypically associated with women are valued as highly as those associated with men. Teach that caring and nonviolence are essential in men, women, and social policy for a more peaceful, just, and caring world.
EconomicsOppose meaningful political campaign financing reform to maintain control of laws and social and economic policies by powerful economic interests.

Discourage socially and environmentally responsible business standards under the guise of a “free market” and “globalization.”

Oppose changes in measures of economic productivity, pass on costs of environmental and health damage to consumers, and maintain the devaluation of the “women’s work” of caregiving.

Develop agencies, rules, and policies that demand lack of empathy, such as international agencies that cut back social services, maintain top-down economic control, and increase availability of cheap labor.
Promote public campaign financing and other means of ending economic control of politics to free policy makers to work for an equitable, environmentally sustainable, and caring economic system.

Promote socially and environmentally responsible business standards and rules. Work for partnership charters for domestic and international corporations, and for partnership standards in economic and environmental treaties.

Work for new measures of economic productivity that focus on quality-of-life indicators – indicators that accurately report the needs and problems of the poor, that include the work of caregiving as productive work, and that include environmental impact in cost-benefits analyses.

Form coalitions to support an economic system that promotes empathy and creativity. Highlight the economic effectiveness of the partnership model. Give real value to the socially essential work of caring and caregiving – for self, others, and nature – whether done by women or men.

Beliefs, Myths, and Stories
Preserve cultural beliefs that human nature is selfish and violent, and hence that people must be rigidly controlled through fear and punishment. Discredit partnership-oriented beliefs, attitudes, and myths as “unrealistic.”

Filter out information that questions the status quo, and use media monopolies to discredit partnership possibilities.

Use schools to make rankings of domination seem normal, natural, and divinely ordained.

Promote a “morality” of fear, intolerance, violence, and punishment.
Support cultural traditions that promote partnership, and work to discard those that promote domination. Strengthen the understanding that human nature is flexible and includes a powerful capacity for creativity and caring.

Break up media monopolies and change media policies and management so that the voice of partnership and diversity will be heard in the media.

Bring partnership education *Matt: please link to Partnership Education page into schools and universities. Offer young people tools to recognize beliefs, myths, and stories that promote domination or partnership. Help them see the consequences of domination and the benefits of partnership.

Bring partnership into religious organizations to promote partnership moral sensitivity and help them discard dominator “morality.” Nurture the spiritual courage that will sustain us on the journey to make partnership a reality for our children and generations to come.

From Riane Eisler’s The Power of Partnership (New World Library, 2002)

The Vocabulary of Domination and Partnership

Here are some examples of alternatives to emotionally charged phrases misused to reimpose domination relations. When you use this chart, try to remember that you will be most successful if you don’t use blame or shame to make your points. Appeal, instead, to the yearning for love and respect we all share. The aim is to raise awareness, not to make people influenced by domination teachings feel bad.

Domination/ControlPartnership/Respect
Family valuesValuing families
Pro-lifePro-living
Educational accountabilityEducational responsibility
Capitalist economicsEconomics of caring
Free marketFair market
Compassionate conservativePolitics of caring
Traditional valuesHumane traditions
GlobalizationGlobal responsibility
Traditional moralityMoral sensitivity
Women’s workCaring work
Politically correctPersonally caring

From Riane Eisler’s The Power of Partnership (New World Library, 2002)